Tuesday, April 30, 2013
I’d like to thank Cassandra Griffin and Keely Hutton for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I could go on about how much I enjoy reading their blogs and about how they're both a bit obsessed with Dr. Who, but instead I’m going to suggest you check out their blogs yourself—and take a moment to say hi while you're there.
I’m honored that they find my blog inspiring and both nominated me for this award. I’m looking forward to passing it on. To begin with, here are 7 things you may not know about me:
1. My mother’s name is Anne Rice. If I’d kept my maiden name, I’d be Patricia Rice--who is also writer. Actually, in real life I’ve never use the name Pat. It’s Patty all the way. There, that’s a ream of pretty useless information J
2. The summer before my freshman year in high school I wrote a book titled: How to Satisfy Your Satyr It was about harvesting, cooking and preserving edible wild plants. Okay, it was more like a few photocopied sheets of paper stapled together with hand colored drawings, but I did sell them in my parents store for like fifty cents each. Sold quite a few, too.
3. The summer before my sophomore year, I was in the YCC (youth conversation corps). We lived in tents and did all kinds of projects in the Green Mountains around Mount Tabor, Vermont. I did the polka with a guy who has inspired romantic scenes in my manuscripts. Yes, I said polka.
4. In the Fall of 2012, I returned to Mount Tabor for a writing retreat with my long time writing friends: Ginger Churchill, Laura Andersen and Becca Fitzpatrick. That town has a special place in my heart.
5. I went to the University of Vermont and majored in Plant and Soils Science. However, one of my fondest memories is of the brief period when I was mentored by poet Wendell Berry . I doubt he even remembers me—I was a bit untamed at the time—but his kindness and advice has stayed with me.
6. I was lucky enough to attended Orson Scott Card’s Boot Camp a few years ago. My roommate was Aliette de Bodard. If you aren’t familiar with her, check out Aliette’s website. Since boot camp, she’s become one of fantasy and science fictions most up and coming authors.
7. Earlier this week a Tweet reminded me of a critique I received after making it into Writers of the Future’s semifinals. The main comment was about the lack of exclamation points in my story. Kind of proves that rules of thumb taken to an extreme can do as much damage as good.
My Nominations (in no particular order): Drum roll please…
. Display logo in your blog to show you’ve been nominated!
. Link back to your nominator.
. Share 7 things about yourself.
15 (that seems like a lot
and I’m feeling a bit rebellious) 5 other bloggers for the award.
. Notify your nominees.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
I’m back to revising my WIP, and have started this round by reading through comments I got on the first draft. At first I thought my MC’s motivation was a bit off, but then it dawned on me that maybe it wasn’t as much off as I was going into it in too much depth. Perhaps, my main character was too self-aware of her motivation. What does this have to do with first cars?
My main character is almost seventeen and she wants her own car, very badly. But I'm starting to think that I don’t need to have her thoughts reveal why. Heck, I got my first car at sixteen and I didn’t think to myself—I want a car so I can be independent and I can make my own life choices about where I want to live. I just knew I wanted one. Yeah, there was the whole I want to feel adult thing going on as well.
So my questions to you is: Did you want a car as a teen and, if so, then why? How badly did you want it? Did it motivate you to do things you might not have done otherwise? What kind did you long for?
By the way, my first car was a used 1969 Dodge Dart (visible at rear of photo). My dad bought it for me with the agreement that it would also be used for his business (I worked for my dad). Also the town I lived in didn't have school buses, so it saved my parents from having to tote me around. I drove the old car until even Bondo, pop rivets and sheet metal wouldn’t keep it together.
After that I had a string of $50 cars, like this red beauty. They weren’t pretty, but they were mine, all mine! This one had totally rotted floor boards.
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Thursday, April 4, 2013
Last week, as part of my day job, I bought a couple of early 19th century blanket boxes.
One had initials created out of brass tacks on the front of it and a note inside which indicated what town it had originally come from—which matched what we’d been verbally told. Research revealed the name of a person who matched the location and time period. The thing is--old furniture styles didn’t change as rapidly in rural areas like Vermont as they did in more populated and style conscious locations. This box might have been made from the late 18th century to anytime in the first half of the 19th century, though the hardware indicates it’s more likely from the earlier time.
So here’s the story I found when I researched. Children Left Behind Honestly, I doubt this family owned the box. Even if they did, it would be impossible to prove. But the story did remind me of writing and specifically the issue of absent parents in young adult stories.
Right now, I’m working on two YA manuscripts. In the first story, the parents are the main plot thread. Without them, the story wouldn’t exist. My other project is different. The parents are absent physically. However this absence and the reason for it (not death) form a big slice of my main character’s motivation and personality. Again, the parents are vital to the story.
Personally--present or absent--I have a hard time seeing how parents can’t be taken into account in YA stories. And, perhaps, I get a bit annoyed when I hear people say that absent parents are an overused devise. Perhaps it’s more matter of if the writer uses that absence as a character forming devise or simply as an excuse to give the teen characters more freedom. What do you think?
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